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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

  • Adoption of the draft resolution on the nuclear disarmament submitted by Japan to the UN General Assembly

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I have one topic I would like to raise. I would like to speak about the adoption of the draft resolution on nuclear disarmament. In the early hours of Tuesday December 4 (the morning of December 3 EST), the 67th plenary session of the UN General Assembly adopted the draft resolution on nuclear disarmament, which the Government of Japan submitted along with a record number of 99 co-sponsor nations. The draft resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority of 174 in favor to 1 against, with 13 abstentions. The largest-ever number of countries voted in favor this year and among states with nuclear weapons, the UK and the U.S. became co-sponsors for the first time in 16 years. It is believed that the adoption of this resolution will contribute to further expediting international efforts toward the realization of a "world without nuclear weapons." Additionally, this resolution recognizes the importance of the North Korean pursuance of the United Nations Security Council Resolution that demands the immediate abandonment of all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, and reiterates the concerns regarding the North Korean launch of a missile purported to be a "satellite" in April this year. Therefore, we understand the resolution will once again demonstrate the concern the international community shares towards North Korea following the recent announcement of the launch of a missile purported to be a "satellite."


  • The official announcement of the House of Representatives election
  • Japan's measures in response to North Korea's plan to launch a missile purported to be a "satellite"

REPORTER: We are expecting the official announcement of the House of Representatives election to take place today. Could you let us know what the Government hopes to get out of this election?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: We have already commented on this matter by way of the Chief Cabinet Secretary's statement, but the Government hopes that the election, from beginning to end, will be completed fairly and smoothly, so as to advance the healthy development of the parliamentary democracy of Japan and democratic politics. The Government also hopes that all eligible voters exercise their right to vote, clearly understanding that the expression of their political will via the election will determine the future direction of politics in Japan.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question on a related topic. I am a little hesitant to ask this question at this venue, a Government press conference, but I would still like to ask this question as I have few opportunities to speak to someone such as you in the position of Chief Cabinet Secretary. I understand that an official announcement for the election will be made today, and I believe that you will also be running as a candidate for reelection. The official election announcement will be made today and you are currently in Tokyo while the election is beginning in your local electorate. I would like to ask what you did in relation to the election this morning.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Sure. I understand that twelve parties have announced their candidacy with approximately 1,500 candidates in total. Although we will not know the final number of candidates before the close of applications, you are right to say that I will be one of them. A so-called kickoff rally was held from 8:30 am in my local electorate, Osaka No.7. The rally was attended by relevant people and I listened to its progress over the phone. There was a time scheduled where the candidate, I mean myself, was to make an appearance, so therefore instead I delivered a message over the phone requesting the support of those attending the rally and also expressed my determination.

REPORTER: I believe that partly due to the need to attend to matters concerning the North Korean missile launch there will be many days that you will be unable to visit your local electorate after the official election announcement. How do you feel about this election in which you will not be able to campaign locally?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Many ministers are conducting campaign tours across Japan, and I am not the only one in this situation, but there is no doubt that it will be a challenging election for the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), particularly in Osaka with the nature of the locality. I told the chairperson of the local Election Campaign Strategy Committee that I must fulfill my duties as the Chief Cabinet Secretary for Japan, including crisis management response as you mentioned earlier. The committee chairperson strongly agreed and asked me to perform my duties for the country. The committee chairperson also gave me words of great encouragement promising to look after the local campaign.

REPORTER: There is a strong headwind pushing against the DPJ, yet you are unable to visit your electorate. Could you share with us your thoughts as a candidate one last time on how you are planning to contest this election?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I believe that there are many ways to campaign for the election. For example, I believe that touring the electorate in a car playing music is one method, but as for me, for now, we have decided to start by playing a recording of myself as much as possible, and wherever we stop we play a decent five to six minutes of recordings on party policies.

REPORTER: I understand that in relation to the North Korean missile launch, the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan yesterday requested that Prime Minister Noda place priority on official duties, remain in the office as much as possible, and take all possible measures with the relevant ministers as there is a possibility of an emergency occurring after December 10. I believe that during the election, the Prime Minister also has a role to fill as a representative of the DPJ and I would like to ask how the Prime Minister is planning to manage this after December 10.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Prime Minister Noda has instructed us to take all possible measures ahead of the North Korean launch of the missile purported to be a "satellite" and he himself has of course expressed his determination to be vigilant on the issue. As such we are determined to be as prepared as possible.

REPORTER: It appears that some aspects of the election, including regional campaign tours, will be significantly affected after December 10.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Further arrangements are to be made, but of course that will be done while thoroughly understanding and identifying the situation.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in relation to the missile. I believe that the Government stated at the time of the previous launch in April that J-Alert will not be utilized if national safety is not threatened. Will this principle remain basically the same this time as well?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The assessment of the previous response has identified some areas that need to be improved. Therefore, we are planning to hold an official briefing and speak on how the Government is planning to respond to the issue, including how J-Alert and Em-Net will be used. Therefore we ask that you wait until tomorrow for an answer to your question.

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